Thanks for sharing! I didn’t know a company like Nestle was doing this and for 10 years already. Regarding to your question, I would say considering the fast paced world we live in today, it is always better to be more proactive and make sure no competitors are taking the lead.
There is an alarming difference between the production capacity of the automated technology and the 3D printing technology that on my point of view places a huge barrier for spreading this technology. Given that, the cost of production must be extremely high and I tend to believe those products can only be offered at a premium price/for niche customers. However, that 24h cycle time can be seen as a low cycle time from the point of view of the customer if he is the one producing it. In this last option though you have to consider the 3D printer costs, again leading to a premium segment. An alternative would be to have “3D printing shops” on where you can go and print your products or even Amazon selling a service of printing and delivering it for you!
A crucial point to keep their advantage versus competitors is the quality and design of the product. They will need to work hard to prove the quality of 3D print products is as high as or/ higher than the quality of normal product and of the competitor’s products. Besides of that, I guess it will be more and more about the external value that comes in addition to the product, so the convenience to print, the service and all the intangible connections with customers (website, events, emotion, inspiration). One question that I have about 3D is on the trilability. I understand you need to be 100% sure you want the product before printing it and that you can only try it after you’ve done this, so I guess this is a space for opportunity and those who dominate that space with have an advantage.
I would strongly believe that algorithms could truly capture emotions associated with buying behavior if they were trained for that. You can get insights from the customer on the occasion she is interested in and/or on the life stage she is in at that moment and based on that direct her to a new pool of data uses machine learning from previous customers on similar situation. Regarding to the expansion plan, I would say it is better to start from zero in UK and so be open to the opportunity of capturing some white spaces that you would not capture if you were already excluding those clothe’s options by following US algorithm.
Very well-written article. This is a very controversial topic and the way you finish the article – with the question directed to a human on what he/she would do – goes direct to the point I would like to bring. I can relate this to the situation of being robbed and asked not to react. The reality is that you simply don’t know how you are going to react until that happens to you (and even in this case I believe that there might be many factors around you that might make you react differently in similar situations), and so how are you going to program a machine for knowing that? What is right or wrong? And how are you going to impose that decision for everyone else? I actually see the autonomous car as an opportunity to improve safety (reduce drinking & driving, avoid accidents cause for humans’ deviations such as falling asleep or getting distracted, etc) and an opportunity for us to better control the outcome of situations. While in real human interactions you can’t really predict reactions, here you have an opportunity to program and control it. But, do we want big automobile companies deciding on what is right or wrong and taking out our individual critical sense? Who is going to determine that the life of that single person matters less than the others’ lives? And how will the machine react when faced with non-programmed situations? Big question marks arise when we are faced with a big revolution (i.e. cloning and the commodification of live) and this just prove that we stand before one right now.
I think it is very difficult to get to perfect advertisement and much of the power of the advertisement is lost by the current power we (customers) own today in just switching to another page or closing the video when it pops-up. Using machine learning to tailor advertisement helps increase the value of ads in a way of trying to get to a win-win situation in which websites are only showing me things I’m supposedly interested in. I agree the use of personal data can also bring threat regarding to privacy but also to distinguishing what is behind our behavior. The technology the way it is today for me is simply regurgitating our steps and brings no intelligence behind to support it. You search for Casper one single time in Google while reading a case for the class and boom now you become target for hundreds of mattress propaganda with zero intention of buying any of them.
I think among all CPG/Retailer players in the market (including Kraft Heinz, topic of the article), Amazon is better positioned to take the lead in food companies in the world. As pointed out, data management is becoming increasingly important in driving performance and, Amazon has information of many difference facets of the customers and interacts with them a lot more than other COG/Retailers. Millennials seems not care a lot about brands , specially the traditional ones, and thus traditional big CPG will indeed need to think outside the box and make big bets to retain customer loyalty and not to lose them to the most convenient and intelligently presented private label around.
I’m not convinced this technology will spread out over our consumer life. I see it more as something to create a Buzz on Amazon and boost a customer experience for the niche early adopters eager for innovation and technologies in the market. The value proposition of time saving for me looks weak as most supermarkets already offer a self-checkout option and consumers are migrating to the online space. Online sales already represent 10% of retail total sales in US  and are growing at fast pace. On that sense, I question myself until what point will humans cope with this growing technology dependency/fixation and wake up one day desiring a warming good morning from the Trader Joe’s real cashier.